10 Tips on How to Go to a Bar Alone

Are your friends too busy to go out with you tonight? Do you get tired of sitting around your home all alone on a Saturday night, while everyone else is spending time with their boyfriends or families? Don’t worry, I’m going to teach you how to go to a bar alone safely so you can have some fun of your own!

I’m not one for being bored, but I’m also extremely nervous when it comes to getting out and going places that are crowded and involve alcohol. Still, I’ve learned over the past few weeks that sometimes you can’t just stay at home; you have to go out and give it a try.

While most of my friends have told me that I should try to meet men at a coffee shop or library, the truth is that most guys can be found at a bar on a Saturday night. There still seems to be some mixed feelings on women in a bar alone, but most men tend to agree that it shows confidence in a woman, which is very attractive.

If you want to go out and meet those guys (or just get away from your apartment for a few hours), then you need to go out safely. Here’s how to go to a bar by yourself.

#1 Go to the Right Place

The first thing to do is choose the right locale. There are many different types of bars, and some are much cleaner and safer than others. Every city has a happening hot spot as well as a place you’re likely to get stabbed.

Do some research and ask around. Look online for bars and check out the ratings on Yelp. Also, when you get to the bar, sit down for a minute and take your time looking at the menu to get a feel of the place before you order. If it doesn’t look like your kind of crowd, then leave and find another bar.


#2 Park Close to the Bar

If you’re sitting alone at a bar, you’re open to predators. Make sure you park close to the bar on a well-lit and well occupied street. Avoid back alleys and places with little light. There is no reason to put yourself in harm’s way. Keep your eyes open and stay alert.

#3 Dress Appropriately

If you’re going to a bar by yourself, dress in jeans and a classy top. Do not wear anything see through, low cut, short, or promiscuous. Seriously. You want to draw the right kind of attention, not the wrong kind when you’re alone. Also, wear sensible shoes – nothing you can’t walk in comfortably. When you feel comfortable and at ease, you will be comfortable and at ease.

#4 Take a Book

I often take a small paperback when I go to a bar alone. Usually, some guy comes up and asks me what I’m reading. The book serves two purposes: First, it’s a conversation starter. Second: It gives you an excuse to politely tell a guy, “I’m sorry, I’m really just here to read a little and relax after a long week, but thank you anyway,” if you’re not interested in his advances. My advice, choose a book that can start a conversation. Detective novels and books based on movies are great choices. I got a phone number by reading a Mario Puzo novel once. Stay away from magazines, Teen books (no Potter), anything that makes you look like a hardcore feminist, and romance novels.

#5 Order an Appetizer

When you get there, sit at the bar, get to know the bartender a little (male or female), and order an appetizer, then settle in with your book. I guarantee conversations will soon begin.


#6 Do Not Get Drunk

No matter how much fun it is, don’t get drunk. Your goal is to have fun, but remember: you’re by yourself which means you have to drive home. Have one drink. If a guy offers to buy you a drink, tell him you’re driving but would love a cup of coffee. Any guy worth an ounce will respect that and buy you a coffee.

#7 Be Sociable but Not Encouraging

Talk to those around you. You can ask what’s good to eat, what drink the person beside you is having because it looks amazing, you can talk about the weather…make small talk. I smiled at a guy as I walked into a bar once, just because he was in front of me and I thought it would be polite to smile, and his girlfriend, who had her back turned, went nuts when he said, “That girl just smiled at me”. Men can misread a smile, so make sure you talk to everyone around you (including, and especially, the bartender).

#8 If You Meet a Guy, Give Him Your Number

If you get a conversation going with a guy and he asks you out, give him your number instead of leaving with him. I met a really nice guy at the same bar I just told you about, and he asked me if I wanted to continue the conversation over something to eat somewhere else instead. I declined, but gave him my number for him to call me later. He did.

#9 Leave Before it Gets Too Late

There’s no reason for you to be at a bar by yourself late at night. In all honesty, I would suggest packing it up and heading out no later than eleven PM. That way, you get to leave before the bar gets too drunk, you don’t have to worry about drunken unwanted advances, and you really don’t have to worry about jealous girlfriends.


#10 Leave a Good Tip

Before you leave, thank the bartender again, say, “Oh, by the way my name is…” and shake his or her hand so they’ll remember you, and leave a very big tip. Even if the service sucked, a big tip is always remembered, and the next time you come in the bartender is much more likely to have your back if someone starts giving you a hard time.

Romantic bars are good for eating alone, but horrible for picking up a date. College bars are good for finding a one night stand. Bars in the center of downtown are usually more laid back and easy to be comfortable in, as long as you get there early enough to chat with the staff. If you’re looking for a fun, safe, and easy place to be alone but still feel cool, go to a gay bar. They have the best food, the hottest music, and the guys are all very good looking (but obviously unapproachable).

So, are you brave enough to go out alone?

Cover photo: weheartit.com

About the author


Just another hard working mom who loves her kid, loves to write, can’t cook, and has a thing for tentacles! When I’m not hanging out with my Spawn, I’m happily sharing my dating experiences and offering advice and trying to control the chaos that comes with being human.


Click here to post a comment

  • Thank you for this; I’m usually the third wheel when I go out with friends. I’ve always wanted to try going out by myself but I’m afraid it would be boring or no one would pay me any attention. Well, there is a party I’m thinking of going to this Thursday so I’ll try these out and see how it works.

  • Stay away from “anything that makes you look like a hardcore feminist”. Why stay away from this type of book? If a man that approaches you can’t respect the fact that you want equal societal treatment, he is not worth your time.

  • This article, while obviously well-intentioned, is very naive and does more harm than good. Some of this is good advice (parking close, giving someone your number instead of going home with them if you’re unsure about them, etc.)…but a lot of it just spirals into old-fashioned, victim-blaming nonsense. It gives women the idea that we should be confident, but not act like it (example: don’t let anyone know that you read “feminist books,” because that obviously makes you unlovable. WTF?)
    It’s basically telling women, “go out and have fun and have confidence…but also be constantly afraid that what you’re wearing or what you’re drinking or what time it is is going to get you attacked.” Don’t wear anything ‘promiscuous’? Seriously? What time period do we live in? Women don’t “attract the wrong kind of attention.” Getting the wrong kind of attention is the fault of the creep giving it. This article sets women up to feel like if we don’t follow each of these guidelines, and then get creeped on, it’s our own fault. And that’s ridiculous and damaging.
    Be safe, let someone know where you’re going and check in with them…but you do not need to feel responsible for others’ actions or scared to go places alone. We’re not living in the 1800s. You don’t need a chaperone or to act like a timid, sweet, apologetic, fragile girl. You’re a woman, not a doll, and you’re allowed to wear what you want, drink what you want, read what you want, and stay out as late as you want. If some creep bothers you, remember that it’s not because of anything you did…it’s because they’re a creep. Let them know it’s not ok and alert the bartender.
    Staying smart and safe is extremely important…but it doesn’t mean you have to live in fear or be bound by antiquated rules for how women should behave.

  • Can’t believe I’m reading this. Well now I know easy pick ups. College bars it is for this 30 year old lol.

  • Great advice minus the gay club. Would never consider that. Gotta keep the energy around me solid…I’m trying to get out more since I don’t have company to go and get tired of staying home for no good reason, as long as you don’t make yourself a target. It can be awkward though especially if you go to those club/bars the ones too crowded to sit at the bar and too loud to hear the specials. I like lounges some as well. Still trying to find a chill spot though

  • After reading this, I feel silly asking, but is it typical for women to go out clubbing/ to a bar alone? I love going out at night, but after just graduating college all of my friends have now moved away so I really dont have anyone to do a girls’ night out with. Is it safe/ smart to go out by myself?

  • You feminists need to STFU. It’s trying to protect women more than being sexist. Parents would suggest the same. No way did the article say if you get raped and didn’t follow the rules it’s your fault. It’s common sense. Women are a weaker vessel than men and need more protection get that through your thick skulls.

  • haha the reaction from a smile is so true. I was with a friend once, and one of the security guys inside was walking by and we met eyes and I was having a good time (Secretly me and my friend were just making guesses of what the size of all them mens penises were) so I was already in smiley mode), but we met eyes and I smiled at him and my gosh he like froze in shock that I smiled at him. He totally had the look like “woah she just smiled at me!” Liek he stopped in place and everything. I found it quite cute actually, but yeah that reaction sooo happens. Luckily I didnt have some gf lurking the corner haha. And I’ve been thinking of trying the bars at night alone.And I dont drive so I’ll probably get decently drunk. good tip on giving my number! I’l probably wear what I want tho.lol. As long as I’m not walking down alley ways, I’m sure I’ll be fine to wear whaterver sexy dress I want.lol. I want to lure in all options :P Plus I love looking sexy or cutsie, not super casual in a top and jeans. I hate jeans to begin with. One bar has N64 to play, so I may play that instead of reading a damn book on a saturday in a college TOWN, It would look really f**king weird to be out reading at a bar on saturday in this town at any bar haha. Save the book for any other night. Saturdays, hell no.

  • I have a nice local bar, it’s quiet and relaxing. I’m 21 years old, and three of the bartenders are girls I went to school with and know. The bar has great food, drinks, and a pool table. I went there late at night twice with someone else, so no issues there. I went there for lunch one day to see what it would be like there alone at a time that’s more quiet. I sat at the bar, ate, sipped a drink, then played several games of pool. Maybe I’ll try to go there around supper next, or possibly a little while after. Of course my parents would never approve of me going alone, but that’s another issue.